Speaking the Unspeakable

Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn Show featured one of the actors in David Mamet’s play, “Race”, today, which is currently in production at Milwaukee’s Next Act Theater, and the theater’s artistic director.

As the title implies, this play is about race. More specifically about what whites and black say and don’t say to and about those of the other race. White people, for instance, according a black character in the play, who is a law partner of a white character, say that O. J. Simpson is guilty of murdering his ex-wife and her acquaintance.

In isolation, that sounds benign. In the context of the play, it’s not only true, it’s provocative.

Although I was in the courtroom every day of the Simpson murder trial, I was never sure one way or the other about whether he was guilty or not, not just during the trial, but for years after.

I would have had a different perspective on that trial, had I seen “Race” first. Not that the play would have influenced whether I thought Simpson was guilty or not, but I think it would have helped me understand the thinking, perspective and comments of the parties to the the jurors, members of the media and others attending the trial.

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